Exoplanet Montreal researchers make an important discovery – MeteoMedia

Exoplanet: Montreal researchers make an important discovery – MétéoMédia

Published on September 27, 2023 at 10:00 p.m.

Researchers at the University of Montreal analyzed data from the James Webb Telescope. Surprising revelations. Explanations.

The TRAPPIST-1 system

Researchers at the University of Montreal have released a press release to announce the results of a recent study. These scientists from the iRex Exoplanet Research Institute have uncovered some details about the TRAPPIST-1 system, located just 40 light-years from Earth. The planet TRAPPIST-1 b, which is closest to its star in this system, would have no atmosphere.


Important discovery

However, this study revealed a previously unknown phenomenon: stellar contamination. This is the influence of a star on the composition of the atmosphere of an exoplanet. The star TRAPPIST-1 is a red dwarf, much more active than our sun. This activity could therefore distort the data in the transmission spectrum analysis. The James Webb Space Telescope allowed researchers to make these hypotheses.

Multiple planets

The TRAPPIST-1 system consists of seven planets. Before the recent observations, scientists had suggested the possibility that TRAPPIST-1 b and TRAPPIST-1 C had an atmosphere and might be habitable. Given these new findings, the planet closest to this star, which is barely larger than Jupiter, would not have an atmosphere rich in CO2 or methane, as is particularly the case with Titan, Saturn’s moon. According to data published by James-Webb, TRAPPIST 1-c would also have no atmosphere.

Source: iRex Institute

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